Child custody situations can be very challenging. Following a breakup or divorce, parents can often come to an agreement on when they will have time with their children. Joint legal custody is often the best solution in the eyes of the court, barring unique circumstances. However, there are also many situations where one parent tries to turn their kids against the other parent, resulting in what is called parental alienation. Parental alienation occurs when one parent suspects the other of actively influencing a child to reject them. There are a number of signs you should watch out for if you begin to suspect your ex spouse is attempting to alienate your child from you.
Evaluating Parental Alienation in New Jersey
Parental alienation is difficult to prove in court. Sometimes a child’s attitude will naturally change as they get older. Sometimes a child will side with the manipulating parent because they have been led to believe that they are working in their best interest. Before taking action and seeking a child custody evaluation with an NJ child custody lawyer, it is important to consider some of the major signs of active parental alienation. If you see a pattern of these signs, it may be time to seek help. Here are some of the signs to look out for.
- The other parent refuses to give you access to your child for parenting time
- Your child is suddenly distant where you once had a close relationship
- Your child accuses you of something that has not happened
- Your child defends the other parent to an unusual degree
- Aggressive rebellion from the child
- Your child knows more details than necessary about your relationship with the other parent
- The other parent uses your child as a “spy”
Dealing with Parental Alienation
There are a number of avenues to explore when dealing with parental alienation. In some cases, the alienator may not even realize they are doing anything wrong. After a breakup or divorce, there are bound to be strong feelings on both sides. Sometimes a parent can inadvertently pass that resentment to the child. In situations like these, the parent often does not want to harm the relationship between the other parent and the child and simple family therapy is a good option. In situations involving more serious and deliberate alienation, you may need to take it to court. Judges are committed to doing what is in the best interest of the child, so they will revisit custody and parenting time terms if necessary.
Do You Have Parental Alienation Concerns?
If you suspect you are the victim of parental alienation and would like to speak with the Law Firm of Himelman & Himelman about how to proceed, contact us today.